Mark Allman / ICSI @mallman_icsi

James Newman, Abbas Razaghpanah, Narseo Vallina-Rodriguez, Fabian E. Bustamante, Mark Allman, Diego Perino, Alessandro Finamore. Back in Control -- An Extensible Middle-box on Your Phone. Technical Report, arXiv 2012.07695, December 2020.
PDF | arXiv


The closed design of mobile devices -- with the increased security and consistent user interfaces -- is in large part responsible for their becoming the dominant platform for accessing the Internet. These benefits, however, are not without a cost. Their operation of mobile devices and their apps is not easy to understand by either users or operators. We argue for recovering transparency and control on mobile devices through an extensible platform that can intercept and modify traffic before leaving the device or, on arrival, before it reaches the operating system. Conceptually, this is the same view of the traffic that a traditional middlebox would have at the far end of the first link in the network path. We call this platform ``middlebox zero'' or MBZ. By being on-board, MBZ also leverages local context as it processes the traffic and complements the network-wide view of standard middleboxes. We discuss the challenges of the MBZ approach, sketch a working design, and illustrate its potential with some concrete examples.


    author      = "James Newman and Abbas Razaghpanah and Narseo Vallina-Rodriguez and Fabian E. Bustamante and Mark Allman and Diego Perino and Alessandro Finamore",
    title       = "{Back in Control -- An Extensible Middle-box on Your Phone}",
    year        = 2020,
    number      = "arXiv:",
    month       = dec,
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